Round 1 – Richmond v Carlton: A Tiger win is a win under any circumstance!

By The Tiger Tragic

 

Tigers v Blues- Thursday 24th March 2016

MCG – 7.20pm

Richmond def Carlton- 14.8.92 to 12.11.83

Crowd- 75,706

 

A couple of days ago, on one of my occasional forced visits to the local shopping centre, I returned to my vehicle to find a snappy red Porsche sports car parked along side my Kia Sportage. Now, I’m very happy with my Kia, however it did look rather frumpy compared to the sleek young filly of a vehicle that the Porsche appeared.  The Kia looked  more like a heavily pregnant old mare in the late stages of her pregnancy.  However, it occurred to me that although the Porsche may look sleek and gorgeous, outside the fact that might get me home quicker, what else could it achieve that my Kia couldn’t? And what has this got to do with last nights game? Richmond was the Kia, a bit ugly really, but it got there in the end. There is a term that the good football teams can “win ugly”. The Blues played some great footy, sleek and fast, they looked better than the Tiges most of the time, but in the end, the better team won, even though there was very little “sleek and fast” footy from them. We did what we had to do.

What did we learn from last night’s game? Maybe the Blues are not as bad as everyone thought. I have two concerns with that comment, one being that all teams at the beginning of the season have a real red hot go, and fade away fast when the reality of their incompetence is made abundantly clear to them after many “honourable” defeats, and they probably have their best (or nearly best) team on the park.

The Tigers, well the jury is still out on them, but a win is a win. I can at least have bragging rights with my old butcher mate Peter who hasn’t had much reason, as a Blues fan, to contact me in recent seasons. I always seem to be able to make contact with him though about this time of the year?

75,000 at the ‘G. What a history these two clubs have against each other. What an awful night for the Tiges back in 2009 when Ben Cousins made his debut, over 87,000  packed the ‘G that night to see a humiliating defeat. Cousins tearing his hamstring after a long chase out of the backline by Brendon Fevola, of all players. Embarrassing loss by about 80 points. However,  the wheel has turned somewhat now, but  I’m not prepared to show any sympathy towards them as such comments may  only come back to haunt me one day.

There were certainly individuals that showed some dazzle for the Tiges on the night. Big rap for Corey Ellis. Similar physique, left footer, could be a Scott Pendlebury clone? How about Kane Lambert? Particularly the last quarter. Reminds me of Jake King, minus the tatts  and attitude. Connor Menadue, last year I was worried he’d snap in half he was so skinny, has put on some bulk this year. Sammy Lloyd, the boy from Deni, looks trim and terrific and showed real “KB” like skills on the forward line in the last quarter. In fact it was probably the younger, lesser names (plus Rance and Martin) that kept us in the game in the first half. Ty Vickery earned his  place, and Shaun Hampson gave us adequate cover for big Ivan. Is Benny Griffiths ever going to really start clunking those marks and living up to that massive potential. Cotch had an ordinary night despite his 21 disposals, but his time will come.

The pre-game entertainment lost some sparkle when the horses wouldn’t behave! Love Daryl Braithwaite and “Horses”, but horses loose on the ‘G before 75,000 people? I was happy with it though as it seems to have upset the Hawks as they appear to believe they own the song. Maybe, not a  good idea, however, better than Brisbane’s  idea a few years ago to have a lion on the ground before a game. Of course, Richmond did something similar back in the 90’s when they used a real live tiger in an advertising campaign, chasing and pouncing on a footy. Looked great, it was filmed on the Castlemaine footy ground (a ground that I graced in younger years), and I presume ended up with a severely damaged ball! There were no reports of any Castlemaine residents eaten alive, so ended well. I reckon they should bring back that campaign. That would get the ‘G a-rockin!

So, now those dreaded Magpies on Friday night at the MCG. They look a bit ominous to me, Adam Treloar added to the midfield. No serious losses for them from last year. Looks like no Deledio, lets hope big Ivan and Grigg are available. Who to drop? We can’t have Maric, Vickery, Griffiths and Hampson in the same team, a bit top heavy. And most of the running ball carriers played well, so who does Grigg replace? Interesting Match Committee meeting this week.

Big week for the Tiges- Go the mighty Tigers’ – Eat ‘em Alive!

Rob B- 25th March 2016

 

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